Obsessive Top Shortstop Watch: Twins with Multiple Correa Offers, Cubs Won't Set the Market, Phillies Lurking, More

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Obsessive Top Shortstop Watch: Twins with Multiple Correa Offers, Cubs Won’t Set the Market, Phillies Lurking, More

Chicago Cubs

Best Buy should’ve done sales on top shortstops today, dang it. Anyway, some of the latest from the rumor mill about the top free agent shortstops, specifically …

  • Out of Minnesota, the efforts to keep Carlos Correa on the Twins are very real. They may or may not likely their chances, ultimately, but they are trying to get creative:
  • In other words, it’s pretty hard to know what these offers ACTUALLY look like. Recall how the Twins totally gave Correa a nine-figure, three-year deal last offseason … except when the details came out, it was quite clear that it was a one-year deal with a couple highly-unlikely-to-be-exercised player options. Maybe the Twins are making fantastic 6 or 8 or 10-year offers, or maybe they’re once again offering relatively cheap overall deals with enticements like Wolfson mentions.
  • … or maybe that’s just me comforting myself that surely there’s no way the Cubs would be *out-bid* by the Twins on Correa. Right? RIGHT?!
  • Jon Heyman says the Twins are “expected to go hard” to keep Correa, but adds that there are seven other teams involved. Fair to presume the Cubs are one of those seven teams, but also fair to guess that the Cubs aren’t going to be the first to jump to the top of the market. As we recently discussed, even in a world where Correa gets only seven or eight years, there are reasons to be dubious that the Cubs will go that long (regardless of whether they should).

The Cubs engaged in extensive talks with Carlos Correa’s agent prior to the lockout last winter, but Correa subsequently changed representation. With Boras now running the show, the Cubs will have to be both patient and aggressive to meet those demands for a megadeal.

What is clear is that Hoyer understands just how valuable it can be to have elite defense up the middle ….

Adding star power — whether it’s Correa or Trea Turner or to a certain extent Xander Bogaerts or Dansby Swanson — is a must to turn this team into a contender. Adding another shortstop helps the Cubs with their depth. It helps their pitching. It helps them become a more dynamic and resilient team. There are four options and each one comes with individual strengths and weaknesses. The Cubs probably won’t be stepping up to set the market on any of them. But if Hoyer’s baseball operations group can land one of those shortstops while building up the pitching staff, it will go a long way in trying to make the team relevant next year.

  • That, to me, reads like the prevailing sense out there (which, in my opinion, has looked the same since Jed Hoyer’s end-of-season presser): the Cubs REALLY DO want one of these shortstops. It is not just eyewash. But, here in November, they aren’t about to signal to ANYONE that they’re going to go to the top of the market.
  • Does that mean the Cubs wouldn’t tack on an extra year or a few extra million in AAV if push came to shove and that’s what would get the deal done at the zero hour? I’m not saying that. I’m just saying they are going to try to preserve every bit of leverage they have for as long as they have it, on the small chance that they COULD get their preferred target on their preferred terms. Why give that hope up until you absolutely have to? It does the Cubs zero good to let it leak out now that they are willing to go to seven or eight or nine years …
  • Other shortstop bits from Heyman: the Red Sox may not be close on a deal with Xander Bogaerts, the Phillies still make sense for Trea Turner (or perhaps Bogaerts), and the Padres are a surprise entrant on the shortstop market, with a specific mention for Bogaerts.
  • Nick Groke and Matt Gelb write about the Phillies as big fish in the shortstop market, and it certainly sounds like they are very legitimately going to be in pursuit, regardless of how high it pushes them over the luxury tax.

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.